Are you suffering from seasonal allergies or asthma attacks? And do you know the nearly unbearable itchiness of dry skin? Then you are exactly the person who should read on!
In today’s environment air pollution sadly is the norm rather than the exception. There is fine particles, smoke, exhaust fumes, dirt, dust, mould, mites, and – of course – the super annoying ubiquitous pollen. All of these, and quite a lot more we haven’t mentioned, can and do cause breathing problems in the best case scenario and trigger asthma attacks in the worst.
The other air-borne or air-caused problem a lot of people have to deal with is too little humidity. This issue is typically most prevalent during the colder months when indoor heating and less frequent airing play their part in drying the air out, but it can affect homes all throughout the year depending on local climate. Dry air typically is the main cause for chapped lips, itchy and red skin, and even nose-bleeds. What most people typically forget, however, is, that it affects your home and wooden flooring and furniture in particular (cracks!).
Tackling these problems usually meant having at least two separate devices clogging up valuable space, but these days are happily over!
These days, air purifier/humidifier combos are a thing and we have compiled a list of the best devices currently available for you:
Venta LW25 Airwasher
The Venta Airwasher basically uses its humidifying process to purify the passing air. What happens is, that dry and dirty air gets filtered through moist, revolving disks as it passes through the Airwasher unit. Pollutants like dust and pollen get trapped in the disks while the air picks up moisture and leaves the device clean and humidified.
The technique used by the Venta Airwasher is also known as Cold Evaporation technique and it is the best way of avoiding typical over-humidifying consequences like moist patches, warped wood or even mildew.
- Cold evaporation technique
- Safest way of humidifying air
- No wet patches, condensation or warped wood
- Filter free
- Energy efficient
- For spaces up to 200 square feet
Sharp KC-860U Plasmacluster
The Sharp uses a patented, nature-inspired way of filtering air. The exclusive Plasmacluster ion technology eliminates even the smallest pollutants by dispensing positive and negative ions that are created by water vapours throughout the room. The purification system is effective against a wealth of bacteria, fungi, moulds and odours in a way that typical filters cannot match.
In addition to that, the Sharp comes with a dual stage filter system made up of a HEPA filter and an activated carbon filter, that effectively and reliably filter out all remaining big and small particles like dust, pollen, smoke, spores, etc.
And as if that isn’t enough, the system also includes an automatic air sensor that constantly checks the air passing through the device for humidity and freshness, which triggers the inbuilt humidifier if and when needed to keep the room at optimum conditions.
- Patentet Plasmacluster Ion Technology
- Life-long HEPA and active charcoal filters
- Air sensor checking for purity and humidity
- Automatic mode and three manual fan settings
- Energy Star rated
- For spaces up to 341 square feet
BONECO 2-in-1 Air Washer W200
The Boneco Airwasher purifies air by filtering it through a base of water, which in turn is evaporated by the special mat turning in it. Pollutants like dust, pollen, or particle bound odours get stuck in the water, which acts as a natural filter.
The self-regulatory evaporation principle ensures that humidity in the room is always kept at it’s naturally preferred point. By ensuring that the air is never over-humidified, the somewhat slow humidifying process actually is one of the most delicate and precise.
The Air Washer can be used all year round and is the perfect choice for allergy sufferers. And what’s more, the pertinent parts are dishwasher and washing machine safe!
- Water filter
- 3D evaporator mat
- Self-regulated evaporation process
- Super easy to clean
- Elegant design
- For spaces up to 540 square feet
The Klarstein Monaco is the jack-of-all-trades (in the best sense of the word!) of air purifiers and humidifiers.
The humidifier uses ultrasonic waves to turn water into a super fine mist that gently elevates humidity levels throughout the entire room. And by doing so, it also acts as an ioniser. The positive and negative water ions, then, counteract any number of bacteria, viruses and spores.
That is the first part of the air purifying process. There are, however, two (!) more: the used water itself acts as a trap for pollutants, and, finally, an extra filter eliminates anything that’s still left.
And if that isn’t enough to wow you, how about this, then? The aforementioned ioniser also effectively combats bad odours by literally zapping them out of the air and breaking them down into their non-smelly parts.
To round it all out, the Monaco comes with a super stylish design, a blue LED integrated into the water tank, and is a super silent device that is perfect for use in bedrooms.
- Ultrasonic humidifier
- Built-in filter
- Super silent
- Blue LED-light in water tank
- For spaces up to 430 square feet
Oreck WK15500B Air Refresh
The Oreck 2-in-1 Air Refresh combines a two-tiered filtration system with an adjustable humidifier.
The two-staged air purification makes use of both a HEPA filter that captures up to 99% of even the tiniest particles, and a charcoal filter that is used to remove odours.
The adjustable ultrasonic humidifier releases a cool mist into the room, the amount of which you can adjust to your liking with easy-to-use controls. (Note that we specifically mentioned the cool mist – there is no chance of injury by hot steam at any time!)
An in-built humidistat constantly checks the room’s humidity levels and turns the device on/off accordingly in order to assure optimum air quality at all times.
- Two-tiered air purification (HEPA and charcoal filters)
- Ultrasonic humidifier
- In-built humidistat for optimum humidity levels at all times
- Filter indicator, water indicator, sleep mode
- Very quiet
- For spaces up to 115 square feet
Q: What’s the difference between an air purifier and an air washer?
The basic difference between air purifiers and air washers are the type of filtering they do.
Air purifiers employ mechanical means (i.e. HEPA and/or charcoal filters) to remove pollutants like dust, pollen, and bacteria from the air.
Air washers, just as their name suggests, use water as their natural filter.
In both cases, air is filtered and purified by funnelling it through the filter (medium) of choice, and both methods are highly effective.
Q: What’s the optimum humidity for a room?
This number depends greatly on the climate you live in and (mostly) on the season.
As a general rule of thumb, relative humidity (= how much water vapour actually is in the air in relation to how much there can be; this relies (among other factors) on temperature and air pressure) in any room should never be higher than 50%.
Actual numbers should range between 40 and 50% in the non-heating/warmer months as a best case scenario.
In winter (heating period!) relative humidity should range between 30 and 40% in order to prevent condensation from forming.
Q: Do these devices generate heat?
Typically, combination devices make use of cool mist technology to humidify the air, so there will be no or very little heat generated on average.
There are, however, some air humidifiers that make use of warm vapours. Those devices generate heat, and they are useful for quickly heating up rooms due to the spread of warm water particles throughout the humidified space.
Q: How effective are air purifiers?
The actual numbers of effectiveness depend on the methods used as well as on how well-maintained or new the filters are.
Generally speaking, though, air purifiers are incredibly effective. As a rule of thumb, you can get around 80% of pollutants filtered out with any air purifier. In optimal conditions you can reach up to 99% purification of particles larger than 0.3 microns with HEPA filters.
And, remember, when dealing with bad conditions (think smog), or when allergy-prone people are involved, any percentage of purification is definitely better than none.
Q: Do air purifiers combat odours?
As a broad answer: yes, they do. To some extent.
Nearly all types of air purification trap particles that carry odours indiscriminately of those carrying (for example) diseases or irritants.
If, for example, you are a smoker and are looking for a system that reliably kills odours independent from its purifying ability? Then we strongly suggest having a look at devices that use ionising, UV-light and/or supersonic technology alongside the usual filters.
Systems designed for odour reduction often also come with another benefit. The ions or special waves released not only remove odours from the air, but also act on smells already lodged in fabrics all around the room.
Q: For whom would you recommend an air purifier & humidifier combination device?
Broadly speaking, everyone can benefit from air purifiers and humidifiers. These devices are particularly helpful if you fit into one or more of the following categories: allergy-prone; with respiratory problems; children; smoker; has dry and itchy skin.